A. Narayanapura records 50.22 per cent voter turnout
Deciding whom to vote for was not the priority for the electorate of A. Narayanapura ward, reserved for Backward Classes (A) category, where a bypoll was held on Sunday. They were more worried about finding the right booth where they could exercise their franchise.
Several voters in the ward were finding it difficult to find their names in the voters’ list. Though they had their voters’ identity cards, they found that their names were not in the list. The help centres manned by volunteers from different parties near the polling stations were besieged by citizens anxious about finding the booth where they could cast their votes.
Sudipta Das (32), resident of V.S.R. Layout, near Udayanagar, who wanted to cast her vote, was dejected when told that her name was not in the list. The same was the case with Sundar (32), another resident of V.S.R. Layout. V. Radhakrishnan, resident of Udayanagar, found that his EPIC number had been given to someone else.
V. Balaiah, resident of Tin Factory, said that in the previous Assembly elections, he cast his vote in a booth in Andhra Colony. For the BBMP polls, he cast his vote in a booth at Amanulla Layout. “I have been to both the booths today. I have not found my name in the lists in these booths. I am being directed to other booths by the party volunteers. Since morning, I have visited at least four booths across the ward with no luck,” he lamented.
Congress leader and former chairperson of the City Municipal Council Jyothi Prakash alleged that the names of several Muslim voters were missing from the list. “We do not know if it is a deliberate attempt to prevent the Congress from winning or if it was a mistake of the election officials,” he said.
Meanwhile, the party workers from both the BJP and the Congress levelled allegations against one another saying that the other was paying Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000 cash incentive to woo voters.
Manjunath P., a resident of Pai Layout and Congress supporter, claimed that complaints about violation of poll code had failed to evoke any response from the authorities, as the administration was in the hands of the BJP.
Despite these problems, the voter turnout was 50.22 per cent.
Polling was peaceful in 34 polling stations, including three auxiliary stations. Counting will be held on Wednesday.
The bypoll was necessitated after the Supreme Court disqualified the former councillor S.S. Prasad for submitting a false caste certificate.
There were six candidates, including two independents: D.A. Gopal (Congress), Vijaya S.S. Prasad (BJP), Syed Bhaktiyar (Janata Dal-S), C. Ramesh (CPI-M), K. Kumar (independent) and H.S. Amanulla (independent).